Lexicon > Consumer Mediator

IP Lexicon

Consumer Ombudsman

The consumer mediator is the natural or legal person carrying out a conventional mediation mission with the aim of trying to reach an agreement to resolve amicably a dispute between a consumer and a professional.

The consumer mediator is thus an actor in the process of alternative dispute resolution of consumer mediation.

In particular, he or she may be a public sector mediator, a company mediator, or a mediator attached to a federation or association.

He or she must carry out his or her mission diligently and competently, independently and impartially, within the framework of a transparent, efficient and fair procedure.

In any case, he or she must have skills in the field of mediation as well as good legal knowledge, particularly in consumer law.

The Consumer mediator may be called upon to deal with any national or cross-border dispute between a consumer and a professional in connection with the performance of a contract of sale or provision of services.

Its seizure is free for the consumer, and can be implemented only after having tried, beforehand, to solve his dispute directly with the professional by a written complaint.

The professional must inform the consumer in his general conditions of sale.

The consumer and the professional keep the possibility to refer to the judicial authority if the mediation proposed by the consumer’s mediator does not suit them.

However, the Consumer mediator is not competent in the following cases:

  • Litigation between professionals ;
  • Complaints made by the consumer to the trader’s customer service department;
  • Direct negotiations between the consumer and the professional ;
  • Court-ordered attempts at conciliation or mediation of consumer disputes;
  • Proceedings brought by a professional against a consumer.

Point of legislation

“Any consumer has the right to have recourse free of charge to a consumer mediator for the amicable resolution of a dispute with a professional. To this end, the professional guarantees the consumer effective recourse to a consumer mediation system.

The professional may set up his own consumer mediation system or offer the consumer recourse to any other consumer mediator meeting the requirements of this title.

When there is a consumer mediator whose competence extends to all the companies in a field of economic activity to which he belongs, the professional always allows the consumer to have recourse to him. (…) “

Article L612-1 of the Consumer Code

Point of jurisprudence

The “Cour d’appel de Paris” was able to recall that: “Article R.612-2 of the same code indicates, […], that there is no obligation for the parties to participate in a mediation by specifying that :

“Upon receipt of the documents on which the consumer’s request is based, the Consumer mediator shall notify the parties by electronic means or by simple mail of the referral. This notification shall remind the parties that they may withdraw from the process at any time.”

Cour d’appel de Paris, January 6, 2021, N° RG 18/00311

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